No stone — make that diamond — was left unturned during Monday’s third installment of The Real Housewives Of Beverly Hills reunion, which brought the show’s chief storylines to an emotional climax, as Taylor Armstrong opened up about her late ex Russell’s terrifying behavior, while Kim Richards discussed her battle with the bottle.
Taylor, 40, has been very public about the abuse — both physical and mental — she suffered at Russell’s hands. On Monday, she painted a portrait of an obsessive, staking madman eviscerated with paranoia.
During their marriage, she said, Russell stalked her, forced her to undergo a lie detector test about cheating on him, and accused her of bribing the official who administered it. In once instance, Taylor said Russell hid in the bushes while she was chatting with a couple of friends who suggested she leave him; he then emerged from the bushes to punch one of her pals before tossing Taylor into the pool and nearly drowning her.
As we previously reported, this season of the show documented Taylor’s shaky relationship with her late husband, who she claims abused her throughout their marriage. The 47-year-old businessman was found hanged at a Los Angeles home August 15, after it was taped.
As for Kim, whose battle with alcohol has been well-documented on the show — when she chose to show up — it was a night of sober candor.
“I’m an alcoholic,” said Kim, 47. “I have so much guilt and shame for my behavior and what I did. And then I drank to cover the guilt and shame. It’s been a problem long enough that I can say that I’ve struggled with it. I’m a person that has done it and relapsed and done it. But at least I’m trying. I felt off. I just didn’t like me anymore and I couldn’t look at myself in the mirror anymore.”
Kim said astute viewers could see the change in her demeanor as the season went on, and her boozing worsened.
“When I first started the season I was still not drinking and you could see my confidence level,” Kim said. “ And then you could see just from my behavior when I lost my confidence and started drinking. I could not watch the show when I saw that behavior coming out of myself because I was so ashamed of what I’d done.”
Kim’s sister Kyle, 43, was there to give her troubled sibling moral support, saying she believes the wayward Kim’s finally “on the right path.”
“This is the real Kim, this is the Kim that I grew up with and I love. And that was a different Kim.”
Taylor’s memoir Hiding from Reality: My Story of Love, Loss, and Finding the Courage Within is in stores now.